“Fighting for a Hand to Hold”: Medical Colonialism and Resistance to the Healthcare Establishment

“Fighting for a Hand to Hold”: Medical Colonialism and Resistance to the Healthcare Establishment”

Thursday, November 19, 2020 at 5 PM
Online Event
Hosted by QPIRG McGIll and QPIRG Concordia
Join us for the Montreal launch of Samir Shaheen-Hussain’s ‘Fighting for a Hand to Hold.’ We’ve put together a panel of researchers, activists, and community sector workers to speak to issues of medical colonialism, disparities in Indigenous people’s health and social wellbeing, and Indigenous resistance to the medical establishment.

Using government documentation, historical scholarship, media reports, public inquiries, and personal testimonies, ‘Fighting for a Hand to Hold’ exposes the medical establishment’s role in the colonization of Indigenous people’s in Canada. The book examines the anti-Indigenous racism that is embedded in the Canadian public health care system and calls for reparations, restitution (including land reclamation), and self-determination for Indigenous Peoples. You can learn more about the book here: https://fightingforahandtohold.ca/

*Carrie Martin is a Mi’gmaq woman from Listuguj, who has spent the past 20 years working in the field of Indigenous women’s health, with a particular focus on HIV. She was the Harm Reduction Coordinator at the Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal for 12 years, and a founding member of the Indigenous Health Centre of Tiohtià:ke. Currently she works with the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network as the Indigenous Women’s Research Coordinator and has started her Ph.D. at Concordia University to formalize her role as an Indigenous academic researcher. Engaging with many other Indigenous and allied researchers, she builds well-needed capacity in the Indigenous community for grant and research development. Carrie is the proud mother of a 2-year old boy.

*Richard Budgell (Labrador Inuit) was appointed as a Professor of Practice in the Department of Family Medicine, McGill University in May 2020. Prior to that, he had a career of more than 30 years in the Government of Canada, close to half of that in the health field. He was one of the creators in 1995 of the Aboriginal Head Start program, an early childhood development program in Indigenous communities. From 2015 to 2020 he was the Executive Director of the Quebec regional office of the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, Indigenous Services Canada, which funds and supports health programs and services in Indigenous communities throughout Quebec.

*Samir Shaheen-Hussain has been involved in anti-authoritarian social justice movements – including Indigenous solidarity, anti-police brutality and migrant-justice organizing – for nearly two decades. He is a member of the Caring for Social Justice Collective, and has written or co-written about state violence and health care for several publications. He is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University and works as a pediatric emergency physician in Tio’tia:ke (Montreal).

*Wanda Gabriel is a citizen of Kanehsatake (Oka) Kanieke’ha:ke nation. She is a national trainer & facilitator guided by traditional teachings, social work theories and experiential techniques to facilitate family and community healing. She has 26 years of experience in the social and healing field with a commitment and passion to change which was fired by her own ongoing healing journey. Ms. Gabriel has worked in collaboration with national, regional Aboriginal agencies and Aboriginal communities across Canada dealing with crisis intervention and issues of sexual abuse, lateral violence (internalized oppression), drug and alcohol addiction, domestic violence and residential school issues.

*Katsi’tsakwas Ellen Gabriel is a Kanien’kehá:ka human rights and environmental activist-artist. She was chosen by the People of the Longhouse and her community of Kanehsatà:ke to be their spokesperson during the 1990 “Oka Crisis”. For three decades, Ellen has consistently advocated for climate justice and Indigenous Peoples’ self-determination, cultural, and language rights, while opposing violence against Indigenous women. She wrote the afterward for “Fighting for a Hand to Hold”.

*Jessica Quijano will be moderating this panel. Jessica is a mother of two, activist, community/ harm reduction worker. She has been involved in the feminist movement for 20 years, a community worker for 17 and currently is the coordinator of the Iskweu project at the Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal. Iskweu projects aims at eradicating the number of missing and murdered Indigenous women trans and two-spirit in Quebec.

The event will be taking place online and is accessible through links below. The event will take place in English and will have live captioning.

Meeting ID: 833 0868 0505
Passcode: 864491
One tap mobile
+19292056099,,83308680505#,,,,,,0#,,864491# US (New York)
+12532158782,,83308680505#,,,,,,0#,,864491# US (Tacoma)

If you have other questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to get in touch at info@qpirgmcgill.org or send us a message on facebook.